(224) The men of the smuggling group
“Leaving all things aside, I’m surprised they managed to create this space. Any wrong move when digging under a beach and the seawater would have flooded the place.”
I said to Suzuki as I lowered myself down using the rope ladder.
Even a crack in the walls would cause seawater to flow in.
“No, it’s actually the opposite. This town is a reclaimed land made by a great Earth Magician but there was insufficient earth. The ground was hollowed out temporarily. He said that he would refill it immediately after it was over but that Earth Magician was advanced in age and died before he could refill the land so it remained as such. Since there was no issue with the stability of the land, the matter was eventually forgotten. And so it is now used as the hideout for the smuggling crew.”
“Wow … they are surprisingly knowledgeable despite being a criminal organization.”
“It is the same in Japan and in this world, criminal use their heads more than others. Apart from the smuggling crew, the sovereign of this town also know about this space but it is apparently treated as a Pandora’s Box.”
“Even though not even hope has been left behind here after it was opened.”
That might be ironic coming from a person acting as a criminal clinging on to this Pandora’s Box that is devoid of hope.
After dropping down from the rope ladder, my nose was struck by a pungent smell. At the same time, I heard footsteps come closer.
A plump bearded man in green clothes approached. His hair was riddled with dandruff to the point of turning white. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were fleas living in his hair.
He was probably the source of the smell.
His job was 【Commoner: Lv8】.
“Suzuki right? You’re here, who’s that?”
“Hey, Pavlov. This is my Pirate friend. He wants to go to the South Continent and said that he would help as a guard so I brought him here.”
“Master Suzuki’s friend? Welcome~ Call me Pavlov.”
Pavlov smiled while drooling and requested a handshake.
His hands were black with grime.
To be honest, I did not want to shake his hand.
This kind of filthiness was normal to a smuggling crew so they might not hire me if I gave a bad impression here.
(This is a mid-career interview! Pavlov is the interviewer! Can I reject a handshake initiated by the interviewer even with the reason that their hand was dirty?)
I asked myself.
As a veteran of hundred interviews (even though I lost all hundred), I showed a perfect business smile.
“It’s a pleasure to — nice meeting you, Pavlov.”
I nearly used honorific language but in order to not be made light of, I settled with a friendly greeting.
“Oo, Master Suzuki’s friend is a great guy. You’re the first to shake my hand.”
Pavlov smiled happily as he said that.
Shit, so his filthiness was not commonplace in the smuggling crew.
Furthermore, he was even aware that he was filthy.
“Hey, Pavlov. Do you want me to clean you up with the Clean spell from the Lifestyle Magic?”
“Hn-, is Master Suzuki’s friend a magic user?”
“Yeah, I’m good with magic too.”
“I see, then if you don’t mind?”
“Leave it to me.”
I mean, I have to clean him with as soon as possible. My lungs were hurting every time I breathed.
I cleaned every corner of Pavlov’s body with Clean.
His beard was unkempt but he no longer had dirt and dandruff in his hair.
Even more surprising was that the green clothes he wore turned white. The Clean spell did not have the function of bleaching so it seemed like the green coloration actually came from mold.
I also took the chance to apply Clean on myself.
“I feel so clean now — Thanks.”
“No no, I should be thanking you for letting me cast Clean on you —”
“I’ll lead you to the boss.”
Pavlov said as he lumbered away.
“Thanks, Kusunoki-kun. Actually, I was having trouble with Pavlov’s smell too.”
“I figured — but why is the smuggling crew using a guy like him?”
“Beats me? I’m guessing they don’t have enough manpower?”
Suzuki didn’t know the reason too.
We walked down the wide underground space. After a while, I noticed not only a ton of cargo but even small boats.
Clearly, they would not fit through the hole in the warehouse so there was probably a separate exit.
But was there a reason why they placed a small boat at a place like that?
“The boss is here.”
” … Amazing.”
Standing there was a log house.
I didn’t expect that there would not only be a boat underground but even a constructed house.
Turning a blind eye to how I have not only a sailboat and a log house in My World but even a field and hot spring facilities, I was surprised by the energy of the smuggling crew.
But there was a ceiling here after all so was there a need to go out of the way to build a house?
“Well then, this is as far as I go.”
Pavlov said and returned back the way we came.
Suzuki said that he was forbidden to approach the smuggling crew members due to his stench.
Then, Suzuki knocked on the door with practiced hand movements.
There was no reply.
After knocking again,
“There is truth beyond the twilight.”
The door opened after he said some confusing phrase.
— Shouldn’t they ask for the password even before we enter the warehouse?
As I thought to myself, this time, the stench of alcohol struck my nose. My nose was having a terrible day.
I was seriously glad that Haru wasn’t with us.
If she was around, she would have fainted when we met Pavlov and she would have gotten drunk when we opened this door.
Ten men exited when the door opened.
Glancing at their jobs, there were Thieves and Pirates and even Bandits.
It was a parade of criminals.
A man with the Pirate job stepped forward.
It seemed like he was the smuggling crew leader.
“Mister Suzuki, that person is —”
Oh, he’s asking about me right off the bat.
Well, that was to be expected.
“He is my friend, I brought him because he wants to reach the South Continent and he offered to work as a guard. His name is —”
“I know. Ichinojo-san right?”
Suzuki and I exclaimed at the same time.
Why did he know my name? Although he made a questionable misunderstanding like Jofre.
“After making that much disturbance in this town (Port Kobe), the news would naturally travel even until here.”
Shit, I didn’t think that far.
Then, he would know that I was not a Pirate —
“The Pirate Ichinojo right?”
I see, so acting as a Pirate in Port Kobe actually worked out well in the end.
Does this mean I’m on the track to get tons of jobs?
“I’m glad you know about me. Then, hire me as your guard — ”
“No, there is no longer any need for that. Mister Suzuki, we also no longer need you. We now have an excellent guard with us. Great Master, please come out.”
Ah, there was a single presence remaining inside the house, so it was the Great Master huh?
The person who came out from the house was,
【Death Warrior: Lv39】
A man who seemed to have excellent skill in swordsmanship.
No, it was discourteous to say ‘seemed’. He was probably actually skilled.
“With Great Master here, we no longer need Mister Suzuki and Ichinojo-san. I apologize.”
“In other words, we’re not needed as guards because this man is stronger than us?”
“I am glad that you guessed it.”
“Hmph, then, if I prove that I am stronger than this person, you will hire me?”
I said as I drew my sword from its sheath.